Becoming a Listserv List Owner

What is the time commitment involved in owning a list?

Depending on the type of mailing list you want to create, your involvement in managing the list will either be minimal or considerable. A list used strictly for the distribution of information from you to the list's subscribers requires very little management. A moderated mailing list requires you to read and approve each mailing that is sent to the list. If your moderated list is very active, your time investment could be considerable.

What skills will I need?

Lists can be managed either through the Web or through e-mail. Therefore, if you are comfortable with both, you have the necessary software skills with which to start.  Most new list owners prefer to use the Web interface to manage their list.

The primary responsibility of each list owner is to subscribe users to their list or inform users how to subscribe themself.  In addition, the list owner may perform other maintenance tasks like removing subscriptions, correcting subscriber names or changing how the list functions.  None of these operations is very complex and can be accomplished easily through the Web. 

The list owner, by default, will receive error notices when mail that is sent to the list fails.  The most common error notice is one that lists the subscriber(s) whose address(es) cannot be reached.  The ITS Help Desk can help you interpret error messages.

How do I become a list owner?

The first step is to decide on a list name and identify its purpose. It is recommended you keep your list name short yet descriptive (about 8 - 10 characters). As an option you can add "-L" to the name in order to differentiate it from an e-mail account that bears a similar name.  However, it is acceptable to use the same name for the e-mail account and the Listserv list.

Next you'll need to decide how you want the list to function. For example, will the list be used for two way discussions or will it be used strictly to distribute announcements?

As you complete the request form (see link below) you will be asked to choose between 3 types of lists. Samples of each type are available during the request process.  If none of the samples fit your needs, you may start with one of them and modify it as necessary. Contact Debby Quayle at 859-4031 to further discuss your options.

When the request is submitted, an auto-reply is sent to you that confirms receipt of the request.  Once the list shell has been created, you will receive a follow-up e-mail from Debby Quayle.  Only then is it ready for subscribers.

Documentation to assist you in the management of your list and its subscribers can be found on the Listserv home page.  Look for the "Quick Start Guide for List Owners".

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